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Forum: Book sources - new, secondhand

Opening comment

If we need more books in BM, then this raises the question of "where from"?

If you're in an area where real (bricks and mortar) bookshops still exist, or where there are good secondhand bookshops, please would you list them here. Any publicity for them has to be good as they're often struggling to survive in the internet age. Any BM member finding themselves in that area may also want to visit bookshops.

Although BM receives a commission from books purchased through Amazon, there are other online sources of books, and these may in fact be cheaper, especially if you're mooching books in a country where the language of the country isn't the language in which you're reading. BM wouldn't get the commission, but if you were able to buy two books that go into circulation, it would increase the number of books available.

4 years ago


I live in Great Falls MT and there is an amazing little shop down on Central Ave. It is called the Paperback Jungle. She is a second hand book shop that carges very low rates for exchanging books, and half the cover price for a book when you are not exchanging. She also has some Dollar bins filled with some great reads! Her address is:
721 Central Ave
Great Falls, MT 59401
You would have to call her for shop hours. I BELIEVE that she will ship books out also, however I have searched her online and it does not appear that she ships via the internet nor can you search her inventory online. But she is very knowledgable about her inventory and can tell you just about every book she has!
4 years ago
Lengthy quote about second-hand bookshops follows! I've just discovered that I'm a pilgrim.

"But either you intriniscally understand the attraction of searching for hidden treasure amongst rows of dusty shelves or you don't; it's a passion, bordering on a spiritual illness, which cannot be explained to the unafflicted.

Tue, they're not for the faint of heart. Wild and chaotic, capricious and frustrating, there are certain physical laws that govern second-hand bookshops and, like gravity, they're pretty much non-negotiable. Paperback editions of D H Lawrence must consitute no less than 55 per cent of all stock in any shop. Natural law also dictates that the remaining 45 per cent consists of at least two shelves' worth of literary criticism on Paradise Lost, and there should always be an entire room in the basement devoted to military history which, by sheer coincidence, will be haunted by a man in his seventies....

Modern booksellers can't really compete with these eccentric charms. They keep regular hours, have central heating and are staffed by freshly scrubbed young people in black tee-shirts. They're devoid both of basement rooms and fallen Greek heroes in smelly tweeds. You'll find no dogs or cats curled up next to ancient space heaters like familiars nor the intoxicating smell of mould and mildew that could emanate equally from the unevenly stacked volumes or from the owner himself. People visi Waterstone's and leave. But second-hand bookshops have pilgrims. The words 'out of print' are a call to arms for those who seek a Holy Grail made of paper and ink."

Posted without permission from Elegance by Kathleen Tessaro.
4 years ago
The Strand bookshop, E. 14th Street, NY, NY, USA
The Salvation Army second-hand shops anywhere in the U.S.A.(and probably in Canada)
Other thrift shops. Where is Great Falls MT?
in countries where the language is other than English,second hard books in English are rare to non-existent, at least this is true, in my experincen of Austria, Turkey, Italy, Finland, Sweden, Greece, Jordan, Kwnya & Tanzania.
Here in Israel, the previously owned books are the discarded "best-sellers" from airport bookshops, and tired Disneyfied outgrown children's books. New books (prevously owned only by the publishers and the distributors) cost the earth, and the selection is skewed.
Someone recommended Abe Books, but it turns out they are also owned by obnoxious, ubiquitous Amazon.
So, for me, it's Book Mooch forever (or as long as it lasts).
4 years ago
I use sometimes They represent a whole lot of second-hand bookshops in the UK and send abroad. You do have to pay for delivery but some of the books are really cheap. I believe they are also in the US.
4 years ago
I hope you all already know about It lists new and used books from tens of thousands of booksellers all over the world, including alibris and some of Amazon's (I'm not sure why they don't all show up, but I've noticed that they don't). BookFinder has a wonderful adjustable search form that'll let you choose all sort of variants like cheapest copies first, hardback or paperback only, search just by ISBN, search in languages other than English. Try it - you'll like it. And then any you don't want to keep, you can put in your BM inventory.
Margaret H.
3 years ago

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